1. How did you get started making tea?
I started out as a tea drinker, really. I fell in love with a particular blend of chocolate tea that was available at a small antique shop in Orange, CA. When they went out of business, they took their tea with them, and I tried to find another chocolate tea to replace it with, but all the chocolate teas that I found were not quite what I was looking for. So, I figured, how hard could it be to flavor and blend teas myself? Boy, was I in for a big surprise.
After a couple of years of trying and failing, I gave up for a while. Then a couple of years later, I gave it another earnest try, and after about a year finally came up with a flavor that I liked! My Chocolate Rose Romance tea is the fruit of that particular labor, it has gone through many transitions over the last 7 years, but, I think I've finally created the blend I set out to create. It's very rich and decadent and very chocolate-y, just like the blend that I remember from the antique shop in Orange, CA.
2. What do you think is most challenging about making and selling tea?
The most challenging part for me, is absolutely the marketing aspect. I have learned the hard way that if you make it, they won't come unless you let them know it's there... and even then, they don't always come! I'm much more the artist, and not much of a business person, and not very good at all with the marketing/advertising aspect of the business.
3. Do you do any other crafts?
Yes. I'm an altered artist and mixed media artist, as well as an occasional zinester. Some of my collages can be found here: http://eccentricpastiche.artfire.com
4. What's your favorite tea in your shop right now?
Well, there will always be a special place in my heart for my Chocolate Rose Romance, for obvious reasons! Honestly, I love all of my teas, because I really create my teas for my own palate, if I like it, I'll sell it... I don't carry anything that I won't drink myself. Lately, I've been drinking a lot of my Green Apple Tea though, I think because it's really good iced!!!
5. Where do you sell your work?
I have several venues where I sell:
I sell at artfire: http://liberteas.artfire.com
Made it Myself: http://www.madeitmyself.com/user/liberteas.aspx
6. Do you blog?
I do, sadly, I haven't updated in a while, but intend to get back to blogging often!!! I have a tea journal: http://liberteas.blogspot.com and an art journal: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com In addition, I do reviews of tea (not my own! Hey, what can I say, I love tea!) for the tea review blog: http://teareviewblog.com
7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?
I am on Plurk and Twitter as Liberteas. I am just building a facebook page for Liberteas, and I all I really have done at this point is reserve the name for it! Same is true for MySpace.
8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?
I am usually just listening to whatever anyone else in my family is watching or listening to... I have 2 daughters, one of them is usually either listening to music or watching TV.
9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*
I'm a paper junkie. I am totally addicted to paper! I go nuts when I go to a paper store like Paper Zone or Paper Source. My family think I'm completely crazy and are totally embarrassed because I'm walking around in a daze, gently massaging all the paper, and drooling like Homer Simpson with a donut. I don't know exactly what it is about paper... but I love it!